Living with an architecture student is a bit like living with a ghost, and my own busy schedule doesn't help. D and I can go for days without crossing paths, but we sense each other's presence in the apartment. While that sounds sweet, it is not very practical for things like reminding each other to pay the rent. Hence, the chalkboard you can't miss.
I mounted it on the inside of our front door and made it magnetic (a genius idea I got from Design Sponge). It used to look like this...
All the frame needed was a scrubbing, a coat of primer and a couple coats of bright yellow spray paint. A quick trip to Home Depot got me a piece of wood cut to size (tip: look for the remnants section and see if you can get a sweet guy to cut it for you free of charge) and a piece of sheet metal. I was lucky because the frame opening is 12 x 24" and the sheet metal came in that size so I didn't have to deal with cutting it. My parents already had chalkboard paint, so I borrowed it and carefully painted several coats on the metal, sanding gently between coats for a smooth finish.
Total cost was around $20. If I'd had to buy the chalkboard paint, it would have cost another $5, but one can of that stuff can paint a whole lot of chalkboards so you should look into sharing with someone.
Finding a good frame is the key here. Go to thrift stores and look for wooden frames that are actually kind of ugly or over the top. Lots of carving is good. It might look really dated in dark wood, but it's going to look great once you paint it.
Frame (from St. Vincent de Paul thrift store): $7
Spray paint (marigold shade from Painter's Touch line) + primer: $6
Wood cut to size: $0.51
Sheet metal: $6
*This tutorial is provided for personal use only. Please do not sell this tutorial or create items for re-sale using this tutorial. Tutorial may be re-published only with my permission.